I was pleased to give my support to the Too Much Information campaign in Parliament this today.
In April 2016, The National Autistic Society launched Too Much Information, its biggest ever campaign to increase public understanding of autism.
The coinciding report, Too Much Information: why the public needs to understand autism better, revealed that 99.5 per cent of people in Scotland have heard of autism, but just 15 per cent of autistic people believe the condition is understood in a meaningful way. The report identified that this gap between awareness and understanding can lead to social isolation:
- 90 cent of families living with autism say people stare at their child’s autistic behaviour, and 73 per cent say people tut or make disapproving noises
- 85 per cent of autistic people feel people judge them as strange
- 66 per cent of autistic people feel socially isolated
- 27 per cent of autistic people have been asked to leave a public space because of behaviour associated with their autism.
Too Much Information: Year Two
Year Two of the Too Much Information campaign launched during World Autism Awareness Week (27 March – 2 April) 2017. It aims to help people to understand the small changes they can make to their behaviour that make a big difference to autistic people.
The charity says: “Whether you’re at the shops, on public transport, at work or out with friends, a change as simple as using clear language, having a bit of patience, or avoiding last minute changes can really help. Throughout the campaign’s second year, we’ll continue to encourage everyone to understand autism, the person, and the change you can make.”
MSPs are invited to a photo call on Thursday, June 29 from 2-3.15pm in Committee Room 1 – The Burns Room, where they can pledge to learn about the small changes they can make to support their autistic constituents. Template media materials and copies of photographs will be shared following the event.
Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. More than one in 100 people are on the autism spectrum, including an estimated 58,000 people in Scotland. Although everyone is different, people on the autism spectrum may:
- Be under or oversensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours, which can make everyday life extremely difficult
- Find social situations and change a challenge, sometimes leading to extreme levels of anxiety
- Experience a ‘meltdown’ if overwhelmed by anxiety or sensory overload
- Benefit from extra time to process and respond to communication
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
The National Autistic Society Scotland is the leading charity for autistic people and their families. It provides information, support and pioneering services, and campaigns for a better world for autistic people.